Bass Guitar Lessons

Bass Guitar Lessons can be found all over the place online, either in articles, blogs or videos. Yet this information can quickly become overwhelming. Even for those of us who have spent months or years learning bass guitar, let alone for a bass beginner.

With no structure to your bass lessons you will simply end up half learning bits and pieces of techniques or songs, which are of no use to anybody.

If you spend your time learning bass guitar from random articles and YouTube videos you will get nowhere fast!

How many other musicians do you know that can only play a handful of songs? Some of them might not even be able to play these songs all the way through. They simply moved on to something else without bothering!

Instead they should of focused their time, as you should when you learn to play bass.

This website will give you that structure to follow, allowing you to learn bass guitar quickly and efficiently – While having FUN every step of the way.

Bass Guitar Scales

As a beginning bass student, the most important thing to learn is bass scales. Learning a bass scale is not as hard as it sounds. There are many that are used across all genres of music and all are absolutely necessary to the successful bass player.

What Is A Bass Scale?

A scale is composed of the notes in a specific key signature. There are eight notes in a one octave scale. The key of the scale is the note you start on. If you want to play a G major scale, start on the “G” note; if you want a D” major scale, start on the “D” note.
For this article’s purpose, we will discuss the one octave major scale and the one octave natural minor scale.

The One Octave Major Bass Scale

This is the first bass scale a beginner should learn. The starting note is the root of the scale. The tones are separated by steps and half-steps. On the fret board of the bass, one fret is a half-step and two frets are a whole step. The one octave major bass scale is constructed as follows, starting at the root: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

Example in C major bass scale:
Start at “C”. A whole step is two frets to “D”. Another whole step up is “E”. A half step up is “F”. A whole step up is “G”. Another whole step up is “A”. Another whole step up is “B”. The final half step up is “C”, which is an octave above the root.

So the step configuration for a major bass scale is :W W H W W W H

All major bass scales, or major scales in general, will follow this pattern. Online bass courses will show you this in print, video and audio, making it easy to learn bass scales on your own.

The One Octave Natural Minor Bass Scale

All bass scales have other scales related to them. One such scale is the one octave natural minor scale. This bass scale differs from the major scale by three (3) notes. In the natural minor scale, the 3rd, 6th and 7th are all flatted, or brought down a half step. This makes the whole step/half step structure as follows, starting at “C”:

Start at “C”. A whole step up is “D”. Now we go up a half step to “Eb”, then a whole step to “F”, a whole step to “G”, a half step to “Ab”, a whole step to “Bb” and finally a whole to the octave “C”. Notice how the 3rd, 6th and 7th were all a flat of the same note in the major scale. We still star on the same “C” and end on the same octave “C”, but now the scale sounds different.

The step configuration is W H W W H W W

For fingering notations and practice that makes perfect, go online and learn bass scales. Online learning makes it easy, you can go at your own pace and master each one before proceeding. Learning bass scales using a video course makes it much easier for you quickly master this essential skill.

Bass Technique

There are a few bass techniques that can give you a good versatile range of styles. Playing bass is not simply playing a note that is the root, third or fifth of the guitar chord being played. Nor is it just walking up and down a scale. We’ll mention a few here and then discuss briefly.

Right Hand Bass Techniques

One popular bass technique is slap bass. Usually associated with funk or jazz styles of music, slap bass adds a flavour to your music unlike any other. Slapping the bass is really more of a thump on the string with the thumb. Hold the thumb at a slight angle above the string you are going to strike. Now bring the thumb down onto the desired string, trying to strike the bottom half of the string so the resulting sound is a solid “thump”.

Akin to slapping the bass is popping. Popping is used in conjunction with slapping and is widely heard in jazz, funk, soul and even some rock songs that have “breakdowns”. To pop the string, use the index finger or the middle finger. After you have slapped the string, use that finger to pull it up. It should “pop” back down on the fret board.

If speed is your aim as a bass player, then tapping is a necessary bass technique to learn. One of the easier, yet more advanced, of the bass techniques, tapping can add speed as well as versatility to your playing. This involves the use of the right hand on the fret board. While holding a note that you have just played, use the right index finger to “hammer on” a higher fret, usually two or three above where the left hand is.
You may actually incorporate other right fingers into the playing. In this way you can extend the upper registers of almost any scale by as many as 5 notes, maybe more.

Left Hand Bass Techniques

Your left hand, commonly referred to as your ‘fretting hand’ can be used as well to gain speed and accuracy. Two of the greatest left hand bas techniques are hammer-ons and pull-offs. Each has its own uses and placements plus they are easy to master and learn.

A hammer-on is what we call it when a note is being sounded and we simply “hammer” on to the next fret without the use of the right hand. This is also called a slur in some bassist circles.

Opposite of that is the pull off. A pull off is done by playing a note that is fretted with the left middle or ring finger. You need to have your index finger on a lower fret, then simply pull the other finger off, resulting in a lower note being sounded.
These two bass techniques are especially useful in many types of music, but predominantly in rock, blues and jazz styles.

All these bass techniques are easy to learn and just need a little practice to master. Many online bass technique courses include these as part of the curriculum. So if I were you, I would go find an online bass technique course and start now. These are affordable, easy and completely comprehensive with written instruction, video and sound files for full effectiveness.

Bass Guitar Chords

As a bass guitar player, your job is to enhance the chords played by the bass guitar. That is NOT to say that a bassist will not use bass guitar chords, but a bass chord should be used sparingly so as not to overpower the song. It is essential for a bass player to understand chord structure and theory in order to do this, so here we go.

A chord is three or more tones played together that have a harmonious sound. Note that chords are THREE or more notes; two note combinations are called diads and are a very different ball game altogether. bass guitar chords are not played as often as guitar chords. This is because of the tendency of deep tones to be a bit muddy.

To combat this effect, bass players will reference the notes the notes of a chord; this is called outlining and simply “refers” to a specific chord. I have heard it explained in a spelling parallel. Guitarists may say an entire word (chord) while bassists spell the word out. For instance, guitar may say the word “CAT”; a bassist will spell out “C-A-T”. I hope that is a clear analogy for you.

Let’s look at an example using a C major chord. This chord is comprised of the notes C, E and G. while the guitar is sounding the chord as a whole, you could play just about ANY combination of those notes. The bass chord could be sounded as C-C-E-E-G-G or C-E-G-E-C or even arpeggiated. As long as you remain within the notes of the C major chord, you are good.

Now we have mentioned arpeggios, so we need to explain those a bit. An arpeggio is the notes of a chord played individually. In C major, those notes are C, E and G, so you could play a series of those three notes up and back down, like a scale, except you will have only 3 or 4 notes to play, not 7.

Now like we said, bass guitar chords are played, but should be used intelligently and sparingly. A bass chord, for example, is used to fill some sonic space within the song. Be careful not to take up to much of that space, though. Learning bass guitar chords is an integral part of your bass learning, but the important thing is that you understand the structure of chords and how to outline them or play within them properly.

Remember that the role of the bass player is to enhance the basis of the chord, not take it over. For this purpose, knowing the chord patterns will allow you to be emphatic in your bass line. An emphasised bass line is an interesting bass line.

So how to learn this skill is probably on your mind. I know it sounds a bit heavy, but it really is easy. Learning bass guitar chords online is the best way I have seen yet. The written tab is there and you get audio and video to help you along. Add the fact that you can move at your own pace and in private and you can see the benefits clearly.

So go get yourself an online bass guitar course which teaches bass guitar chords and let the world hear your music!

Blues Bass

As a music form, the blues is one of the most popular types played. Many other genres like rock, country and even jazz have roots in the blues. Blues music has been played for hundreds of years with beginnings in the south and southwest of the United States. Blues bass is an easy and fun way to make music and is easier than you may think.

First, understand that blues is based on a progression of the I, IV and V chords of a key signature. If you are unsure what that means, let me explain. In C major, the “I” is a C chord, the “IV” is an F chord and the “V” chord is a G. All you do is count up as you say the letters in order alphabetically.

Like this:
“I” = C
“II” = D
“III” = E
“IV” = F
“V = G
“VI” = A
“VII” = B
“VIII” is the octave “C”

As there are many forms of the blues available, we will take a look at the simplest of them with the 12 bar blues bass line. The term “12 bar blues” refers to a 12 bar progression of chords that follow a repeating pattern every 12 bars. Hence the “12 bar” tag we have come to know and love.

What we do as musicians is divide the 12 bars into sets of 4 each; the first four, the middle four and the last four. The first four bars (or 16 beats) are all the root (I) chord tones; the middle four have 2 bars of the IV chord and two bars of the I chord. The last four are four beats of the V chord, four beats of the IV chord, four beats of the I chord and finishes up with four beats of the V chord.

This pattern never changes in 12 bar blues bass patterns. Hell, some songs may run through that progression 20 or 30 times, depending on the song. So let’s look at an example using G major as a key in 4/4 time with 4 beats to a bar.

First four:
We would play four bars (16 beats) of G chord tones.

Middle four:
Two bars (8 beats) of C chord tones, then two bars (8) beats of G chord tones.

Last four:
One bar (4 beats) of D chord tones, one bar (4 beats) of C chord tones, one bar (4 beats)of G chord tones and one bar (4 beats) of D chord tones.

In this format, it is hard to give you a visual, so I suggest you start learning online. Get yourself a good blues bass lessons course, preferably a standard bass course that touches on blues bass guitar, to get a more rounded bass guitar lesson structure. You will get written material, text instructions, audio so you can hear it and video so you can actually see it played. This is why it is so easy to learn blues bass or any bass technique online.

Once you start seeing the progress you can make, you will be off on your way to a career as the next great blues bass guitar player! It is easy, quick and you CAN do it!

Beginner Bass

When starting out learning as a beginner bass guitarist, you probably have no idea where to start at, what to do, or how to begin. Learning online is a great way to get started and the basics are the first things taught. We will go over a few of them here so you have an idea what to look for in a good online beginner bass course.

When any good bass teacher starts with a new student, they always begin with the very basic beginner bass stuff. A vital beginner bass technique is right hand position. Let’s start with your arm. The right forearm should be kind of suspended above the body of the bass. This prevents pressure from being exerted on the forearm which causes your fingers to hurt or become tired quickly.

This can also cause other more serious trouble like carpal tunnel or bruising if done incorrectly over a long period – This is one of the reasons that learning online is a good idea!

Being taught by bass pro will make sure you are doing things correctly.

The fingers of your right hand are used to strike or play the strings. Your thumb should rest on the center pickup (the center pickup is usually off set a bit and sticks out). Be sure you rest the thumb on the plastic of the actual pickup and not the clip. Use the index and middle fingers to play the strings. Proper technique is to keep a bit of tension in the two upper finger joints and “pluck” the string. It is not good form to “smack” the strings as this requires a lot of motion. Keep big finger or hand movements to a minimum.

The fingers of the left hand are used to “finger” the frets and change notes. The left hand will wrap around the neck of the bass and the fingers will be poised above the strings, ready to press down at the fret desired. Be sure to bridge the fingers and use the tip to play the fret.

Next, you need to learn how to tune the bass properly. While there are several methods available, the easiest for the bass beginner is the fret method. Always tune your lowest string to an “E” using an electric tuner, or by ear if you feel comfortable doing so. Then play the fifth fret of the “E” string and adjust the “A” string to match it. Do the same with the other strings and you are on your way to beautiful music.

Now you have the basic stuff down and are ready to start learning notes. Learning these basics first makes the rest come easy. By learning online with a beginner bass course, you can read how to do it, see how to do it and hear how it sounds when it is all put together.

As a bass beginner, I suggest that you learn all this online and make sure you understand it. Everything else when you learn bass guitar will be based on this information and your playing will be better immediately. So find an online bass beginner course and go from online to on stage!

Learn Bass Guitar

So you want to learn bass guitar and you aren’t sure where to start, right? Trust me learning bass online is easy, affordable and effective. What I want to tell you in this article is WHY it is better than traditional instructor type learning.

Learn at your own pace

Learning bass online gives you the flexibility to learn at your own pace. At the beginning, there will be that awkward phase and you may be a little flustered by some things. Online instruction allows you to take things as slowly as you need to without extra cost or embarrassment. Then later, when you start learning advanced stuff like waking scales, blues scales or finger techniques, you can master those before moving on to the next lesson.

Multimedia presentation

This is where the real power of learning bass online shows itself. All, or at least most of, the online bass tutorials incorporate a multimedia approach. Sounds like a big word, but it is simple. Here is how this works for you to learn bass online effectively.

First, the lesson is presented in standard format, with music tablature. With this information, you learn how it all looks in written form, but you have no idea how it should sound.

Next, the lesson is offered as a sound file. As you are learning to read the tablature, you can listen to the sound file and HEAR how it sounds when played properly. Use it to play along until you have it absolutely mastered.

Last, there is a video of the material showing it being physically played by a professional player. With all this at your disposal, you can easily learn bass guitar, hear how it sounds and see how it is played. This allows for an all around learning experience for you.

Low cost

Compared to a personal instructor, learning bass online has a low cost. To learn bass online is to be able to completely master the skills before you go on to the next bass guitar lessons, which will incorporate the stuff you just learned. No extra cost. No more re-hashed lessons.

No embarrassment

One big thing about learning bass online is you will have no teacher to berate you for not practising enough. Sometimes, you may have a hard time getting practice time in and them you aren’t ready to progress. With online learning, that is not a factor. No more will you be embarrassed about not having mastered the last lesson before the next one.

Practice when you want to

That’s right. You can practice each lesson when and as much as you want. So you can have every lesson absolutely perfect before you move on to the next one. This is a BIG confidence builder and it aids you in becoming a more practised player in the long run.

As you can see, learning bass online is easy, cost efficient and effective for many reasons. All you need to do is decide to learn bass and then go for it. Pick a course online that will help you learn bass guitar starting today!